A tradition on Good Friday commemorates the death and crucifixion of Jesus Christ for the savior of humanity; devotees nail themselves on the cross to honor Jesus and repent of their sins.
As a part of a gory tradition to imitate Jesus Christ's suffering, eight Filipinos were nailed to crosses in the rural community of San Pedro Cutud, Pampanga province, north of Manila.
Reenactment of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ in the Philippines: An Annual Tradition
According to Associated Press News, only eight of the dozen villagers enrolled to participate in the event as the practice was restarted. This event has been put on hold for three years because of the pandemic. One of the participants, a 62-year-old carpenter and sign painter, Ruben Enaje, was crucified for the 34th time.
A large audience watched in the sweltering summer heat as he yelled in pain while being nailed to a wooden cross. During the event, Enaje prayed for an end to Russia's invasion of Ukraine since it had made those like him who were already in need more desperate.
After the crucifixion and some of the traditions before it, a news conference was held. Enaje stated that during the ritual, he prayed for the end of the Ukraine and Russian war and the complete eradication of the Covid-19 virus. Enaje said that even individuals not directly involved in the conflict had been significantly impacted by the war's impact on the increase in gas and food costs worldwide.
He also added that as a sign painter and carpenter, the rising food and oil costs have made it difficult for him to manage his income on his family's daily needs. Enaje's involvement in the Good Friday custom was an act of sacrifice and commitment for his goals and the welfare of his neighborhood and the entire globe.
The yearly religious event in San Pedro Cutud and other nearby villages has drawn many people who come to watch and pray during the event. According to ABC News, the audience included some foreign tourists and local tourists who want to celebrate their Good Friday by watching and remembering that the lord Jesus Christ saved us by sacrificing himself to be crucified and cleanse us.
One foreign tourist, a veterinarian from Ireland named Kitty Ennett, said the crucifixions were a profoundly spiritual event that made the long travel from her home in the United Kingdom well worth it. It was a sad and heartbreaking experience for her to watch and see the young man flogged and then nailed to the cross. According to Ennett, the followers sincerely put themselves in Jesus' position and make extraordinary sacrifices for their religion.
Also Read: Exploring the Diversity of Holy Week Celebrations: A Look at Non-celebrating Countries in the Americas
Thousands Attended the Traditional and Religious Event
According to the annual traditional event organizers, over 15,00 devotees and tourists have come to witness the nailings and commemoration. According to a shared article in Yahoo! News, despite the event's seriousness, the atmosphere was still festive, wherein some villagers were selling food, beverages, hats, souvenirs, and some religious items. At the same time, there were some police officers and marshalls that maintained order during the event.
According to Johnson Gareth, a British tour operator who gathered 15 guests from eight nations, including the United States, Canada, and Germany, the event's novelty attracted people. He continued by saying it was performed politely and wasn't as gory as people frequently believe.
Related Article: Catholic Church Practices on Abstinence and Fasting During Holy Week